Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts

Moonwishes Sewing and Crafts
Visit Our Store!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Crafty Geometry

Crafty Geometry that explains how scientists are using knitting and crocheting to visualize scientific principles. Quilters have long known that they use the principles of geometry for much of their piecework, but seeing some of the designs in this article made me really appreciate the skill that goes into knitting and crocheting three-dimensional shapes. What an idea for teaching simple geometry to students!

Freezer Paper Stencil

Hoping this link works. It is a cute idea for using freezer paper to make stencils for decorating a onsie (or any other fabric). I found it in a blog called Crafty Daisies .

Moving my Sewing Room

I've been packing up my sewing room and moving it off to the new house. Of course, I would like to be working on a project but it would be a little difficult as cutters and scissors are packed plus some of the fabric and all my idea books. I didn't get any new sewing books for Christmas, but did get a Barnes & Noble gift card and then Barnes & Noble sent me a $10 off $40 coupon which needs redeemed by the 17th. which means I get a new book or two as soon as I can get to the store.

I want to wish all of you a very Happy New Year full of fun sewing projects and joy and peace in your home. Don't forget for your pattern needs to visit our store. As soon as our move is over, I have about 500 more patterns to add plus a lot of vintage sewing patterns. During our move, we are keeping our store open and don't anticipate any significant shipping delays.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Glass Dresses

Now here is a new concept. Make your dress out of glass. Actually this is an artform and you will need to click on each picture to see each of Karen Lamonte's creations in better detail. They are incredible! I saw mention of this site from one of my favorite sites: Dress a Day which is also an incredible site expecially if you love sewing or just looking at vintage dresses. Erin, the author of Dress a Day blog has an absolutely magical way of writing and you will soon get hooked. Too busy to visit these sites right now? Bookmark them for when you need some 'me time', you will be glad you did.

Monday, December 18, 2006

A New Christmas Apron

Perhaps it is because I didn't have a huge list of sewing projects to make this Christmas, but all of the sudden it seems I'm doing a lot of Christmas sewing in the past week. It helps to have the pressure off of having no 'MUST DO' list. Today I made a butcher style apron out of the most glorious Christmas fabric--bright red poinsettias on a black background with gold highlights. I used eyelet lace with red ribbon threaded through it and tied in a bow to decorate the pocket. I have to have pockets in my aprons.

I was a bit nervous when I saw the curved parts of the side that I would have to seam down. However, as it was bias cut, pressing the seam allowances under twice and then setting the needle to hit right on the left edge of the fold produced a beautiful seam. It will be fun to have a bright new apron to wear while serving dinner. Of course, after finishing the apron. I realized that the pot holders I made last night don't match the apron, but since they do coordinate fairly well, I should probably skip trying to make some matching ones.

I think at this point I have to get back to sewing curtains. Bathroom ones this time. Hubby wants something sumptuous.

Quick Christmas Gifts

After working on several huge, time-consuming projects, it has been a pleasure to sit down and make some quick Christmas gifts. Just in the last couple of days I have made 7 potholders/hot pads and three rice bags to stick in the microwave or fridge for soothing warmth or cold for boo boos and sore muscles. In between those I have made three flat valances for my sewing room that will be gathered on the rod.

Potholders: Take two 6 1/2" squares of matching or coordinating fabric, padding or backing (I had left over pre-quilted fabric) and a 25" strip of 2 1/2" fabric to bind the edges. Pin the fabric on either side of the batting right side out, sew a line of stitches diagonally from corner to corner--a good place to have fun with decorative stitches. Iron your 2 1/2" strip of fabric wrong sides together, fold about half and inch of the beginning of the strip to the inside for a clean finished edge. Place the strip behind your potholder with tops and edges matching and sew it down with about a 1/4" seam, then flip it over and sew it down on the front with a seam near the edge. Do this on all four sides and you will have a potholder. Repeat until you are out of fabric or out of your mind! If the corners are hard to stitch down due to the bulk of the fabric, just start where you can and then turn it around and finish sewing from the opposite direction. I had a head start on the potholders because when I opened my box of Christmas fabrics, I found leftover pieces from various projects including sufficient strips for the binding.

Rice Bags: I have made these in several different styles, but this week was a simple one. Take two wash clothes (I found a batch for something like 18 for $3 at Walmart) and sew around three sides. I used a triple stitch for extra security. then sewed up the middle of the bag and then at about the middle between the middle and the edge, ending up with 4 channels. These I filled about 2/3rds of the way up with cheap rice. and then sewed the top shut. Not exactly pretty, but very functional. You can heat them in the microwave for a couple of minutes to get them nice and warm and apply to whatever part of the body needs the soothing heat. Conversely, you can keep them in the freezer as handy ice packs that are reusable.

Happy sewing!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Sewing Techniques

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to purchase a huge stack, 10 years worth, of back issues of Threads Magazine. I enjoy reading them and learned lots of sewing techniques that I had never known before. It hasn't been until the last couple weeks as I have been doing a flurry of sewing that I realized how much useful information I had retained from reading 9 months ago. My sewing has definitely improved and I have learned to take advantage of some of the neat things my Janome 6500 can do. This may sound silly, but I never realized what the big deal was about changing the position on your needle was. My way of sewing was aim the needle where you wanted the stitches to be, why change the needle position. Why? Well, by changing the needle position, you are leaving more fabric under the presser foot for more even feeding of the fabric. This of course means more even, straight stitching, and no more falling off the edge of the fabric. I've been hemming an immense about of curtains and have found this to be a very practical item to know.

Anyhow I just finished sewing 2 valances for my new sewing room. I decided not to do full length curtains as I don't want to spoil my spectacular view. I'm using a chunk of fabric my husband had bought me as a gift several years ago--white background with multi-colored Morning Glories as the print. The selvage edge calls it Potpourri, 100% white weight cotton. It should add a nice fresh accent to the room which is painted a very pale pink.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Another Big Project Finished

Last night I finally finished the quilt I was making for my father-in-law for a thank you gift for helping us build our dream home. It is a scrap quilt using the strip piecing, sew and flip technique. Each block was sewn with the batting and backing intact so that when I was done I had 96 blocks to attach to each and TaDa a finished quilt. I used instructions from Sharon Pederson's Reversible Quilts and More Reversible Quilts books. Attaching the blocks to each other in the beginning was very easy, but as the sections got larger I had a lot of weight and drag that I was coping with. I remember when I was on a cruise with Doreen Speckman she equated machine quilting to wrestling an alligator. I felt like I was wrestling alligators last night. I think part of the problem will be solved by my new sewing room that I will be moving into soon where my sewing machine can be set up with more room to spread out the weight of a quilt. Up to the very end, though, I did enjoy using the technique and plan on trying it again only probably with a smaller nap or lap sized quilt.

The big surprise with this quilt is, as usual with a scrap quilt, you really can't judge what it is going to look like until it is done. I wanted a predominately a light and dark blue quilt with a touch of red for an accent. When it was all put together, the quilt shouts "here I am" and the red is what you see. It is such a bright and busy quilt, I hope he doesn't have problems sleeping under it.

My wonderful husband gave me my Christmas present yesterday. My own Log Cabin quilt that he had made out of granite and marble! Yes, you heard that right! At the bottom of our staircase in the new house is a landing that he cut up all these pieces of dark granite and light marble into a perfect rendition of a Fields and Furrows Log Cabin quilt. It is fantastic and a present that I'll always have to cherish--once we are in this house, I have no intention of ever leaving.

I've been very busy selling sewing patterns out of our store and I suspect a lot of people are going to find new pajamas, robes, scarves, hats and mittens under the tree made with loving hands. Things have finally slowed down a bit and so I have time to touch on a few things I've been meaning to post. The Embroidery Library has posted their new December free designs (see I told you I'm running behind) and one of the designs are some applique ice skates. This would be useful for trimming a gift for the young (or old) ice skater in your life. They are also offering a Christmas trio of a snow man, Santa Claus and a reindeer all together with a "Merry Christmas" greeting on it. I also just this evening got an email from Zundt Design and they have a lovely Freestanding Lace Angel for download. It really pays to sign up to be on the mailing list of your favorite design sites, as you never know when they might offer a free design that is just what you are looking for. I was able to decorate some new towels for our house with a great free monogram design that I had gotten from Gosia Embroidery Design and knew it was exactly what I had been looking for.

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas!